Thursday, June 21, 2018

Why Barcelona could run riot against Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday

Crippy Cooke in Editorial, La Liga 12 Mar 2016

Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi have scored 103 goals between them this season.

Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi have scored 103 goals between them this season.

Barcelona welcome Arsenal to the Nou Camp on Wednesday evening for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 meeting, and are full of confidence of progressing in emphatic fashion.

The Catalan giants recently scored 6-0 in a league win over Getafe and even had the luxury to rest a number of key players to keep them fresh for this week’s meeting with Arsenal.

Barcelona enjoying unstoppable run of form of late

Head coach Luis Enrique even admitted after the game that his side were in the best possible shape to see past the Gunners to book their place in the quarter-finals, and considering they’re enjoying a 37-game unbeaten run ahead of the Champions League clash, it’s certainly hard to disagree with him. The Spanish manager has transformed Barcelona into the standalone best team in world football, and Arsenal should be worried as a result.

The Londoners will first be tasked with the prospect of facing the best attacking trio in the world in Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi. The South Americans have scored 103 goals between them this season, and particularly enjoy playing at home. Barcelona have scored 54 goals in 14 home games in La Liga in 2015/16, averaging just shy of four goals-per-game at the Nou Camp.

Arsenal too unconvincing to threat an upset

An Arsenal side having conceded seven goals in three away games in the Champions League could well struggle as a result. Even with a defensive outlook in the first leg, the Londoners came unstuck to Barcelona at the Emirates, and Barcelona have thrashed their Premier League counterparts in the competition before. In fact, in their previous two home ties against Arsenal, the Catalans have scored three or more goals.

In Europe this season, Barcelona have beaten AS Roma 6-1 for their troubles, and are coming off the back of 18 wins from their last 19 in all competitions. Luis Enrique’s men are ruthless in attack, and supply the ball to their potent trio as a much as possible as a result. Lionel Messi has scored 36 goals in as many games this season, while Neymar has 25 to his name, but it’s Luis Suarez who is the danger man with 42 goals in 41 appearances.

However, Arsenal would be foolish to focus their attentions on just one attacker, and it’s hard to see how they will contend with them all. Barcelona have scored in all but one of their games in all competitions this season, so Arsenal have a big task in quelling their attacking talent at the Nou Camp. Barcelona 1/1 to score over 3.5 goals against Arsenal.

Could they embarrass the Gunners this week?


Crippy Cooke

Crippy Cooke has somehow written for the Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London24 and Bleacher Report among others, despite knowing less about football than your average Fan TV member . The weekly accumulator enthusiast is saving up his winnings to pay for a much-needed hair transplant but grows more on his chin than his head. He lives and breathes football and somehow makes a living writing from it.



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